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It’s Not About Me…

When I’m studying scripture, I’m often guilty of expecting God to do a magic trick right before my eyes. I skim over a lot of really valuable passages because words don’t pop off the page, followed by a flash of fire and a cloud of smoke. Reading God’s word used to be all about how I felt; I wanted to feel something, and when I didn’t, I usually decided that God wasn’t in the mood to speak to me that day.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely believe that there are times when God’s word does jump off the page a specific verse feels like it was written minutes ago specifically for you, right? I knowwwww it girl, and I love that feeling. So much in fact, that it was all I was looking for, and I felt alone and clueless when that didn’t happen with the turn of each page.

I went on like that for quite some time; and each time, I felt a little more empty. Where was God? Why wasn’t He showing up? I was there. I was doing my thing. I set aside my Jesus time”, I closed the distractions, and I was skimming the pages for His knowledge and wisdom. So why wasn’t He showing up to meet me?

Now, that sounds crazy to me, but at the time, I absolutely felt that way. And then something challenged me earlier this year. And by the way, I hate to be challenged. I (half) joke and say that I wasn’t born with an obedient bone in my body. Obviously, that’s not true, but it takes me a lot longer to come around; we’re working on it. Anyway, I decided to host a virtual book club for a bunch of ladies I’d connected with Instagram, thinking that it would be a great way to take what I had been learning and share it. It was a great way to share, but it was an even better way to learn, which I didn’t see coming. I knew I wanted to focus on a devotional or faith-based book of some sort, so I started reading through a few that I had in mind.

Among those books was Wild & Free if you haven’t read it, I highly suggest it. It’s full of some incredible truths and eye-opening ideas; one of which is what put the wheels in motion for this article and the thoughts behind it. In the pages of this book are where I first learned about the idea that worshipping God, connecting with God, and even being a Christian aren’t about me they’re about Him. Just like me, the author talks about how she expected the warm and fuzzy God feels”, and when they didn’t come, her disappointment crept in.

She goes on to say that God isn’t out for our joy He’s out for His glory. In other words, God isn’t a performer that’s at our beck and call. In hindsight, it sounds so entitled that I thought the Creator of the universe was simply waiting around for my designated quiet time so that He could make me feel good. In reality, He does make me feel good; because of who He is, not because of what He does/when He does something or if He does that something at all.

Before that, everything about God was conditional and circumstantial for me. If He answered my prayers, He was good. And if He didn’t, well…. He must not be so good. Now, what I see is different. However, I feel like I need to say that just because I see things differently doesn’t necessarily make them easier. I still want my way, when I want it. I’m human. I’m self-absorbed and the most important thing on my mind is typically me. I have to take a lot of big, scary steps back in faith to give God the glory and spotlight He deserves (not that I think I’m capable of stealing the spotlight from God… I’m not that self-absorbed). But the thing that’s keeping me from experiencing and celebrating all that God is, is me.

So, I decided to dig deeper even when I wanted to pull back. Instead of making my prayer time about me, I’ve started making it about God. I used to sit down and read scripture to see how it applied to me and how it could make my life better. Now, I read scripture to learn more about God, and that does make my life better. He’s the main character, I’m just the lucky girl who’s been created to worship Him.

When I study the Bible this way, it’s never boring and it always applies, because the whole book is about Him. And when we learn more about our Creator, we ultimately learn more about ourselves. When we hear God’s promises, we begin to understand our position. When we get a glimpse at His love, we get to live differently.

God’s desire for us is to enter into a relationship with Him, to worship Him, and to serve Him. In order to do those things, we must really know Him first. In every relationship, we make the choice to learn about the other person. If we don’t, that relationship usually doesn’t flourish and grow. He’s done His part in knowing us, after all, He created us. The best part is that He still wants to hear about us from us; from our perspective because we want to share our lives with Him. But it can’t be a one way street. We have to stop looking to God for the answer and start looking at Him as THE answer.

If you’re like me, you’re probably looking for something black and white right now, possibly a check-list of some sort? I got you, boo. This isn’t set-in-stone and certainly not a one-size-fits-all kinda thing, but doing these things each day does help me get my mind in the right place to worship and praise, no matter how I’m feeling.


I start every day with a faith-based book and a devotional. Before I open my Bible, I always like to
warm-up”. In fitness, we stretch before we workout. I treat my quiet time the same way. From the second I get up, chaos surrounds me on all sides. My alarm is blaring, my dogs are jumping around, and if I make the mistake of glancing at my phone, I see all the tasks that require my attention. So before I dive into God’s word, I like to make sure my mind is in the right place. I want to be focused and interested. Reading a book about God will often get my thoughts stirring and even excited to learn more.

After I read a chapter in a book, I do a short daily devotional with a place for self-reflection. This is my me time; before I get into the Bible. It gives a chance to understand how I’m feeling, to look at some things that are on my heart and mind, and to get those out in the open. I find that when I do that, I’m able to see the messages from the Bible for what they are; words from God. I’m not spending my time trying to solve the mystery of Olivia’s Life each time I read a verse. I can look at the verses and how they apply to my relationship with God as a whole.

Then I dive into studying scripture, and I look for some specific things in my reading, based on either the APPLE or the SOAP study method. Apple is an acronym for Attributes of God, Promises from God, Principles For Life, Lessons Learned, and Examples to follow. I learned about this method through a blog called Arabah Joy when I was scrolling Pinterest. There’s lots more info and details on using this study method, so click that link to read all about it! The other method I use is SOAP; Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer. Another great Pinterest find quite some time ago. Both methods have become really valuable in my study time, but I especially love the APPLE method because it puts nearly all of the focus on God, not me.

I write this out in a journal, which is actually this sketchpad, because I’m not really one to stay inside the lines. And knowing more about God not only deepens my relationship with Him, but also allows me to live (or attempt to) in a way that proves I know Him. In other words, glorify Him.

Some days, I do better than others. I still believe in and look for God’s magic shows, but in much different ways. I know now that every passing smile in the grocery store, every heart-felt apology where a fight could have started, every sunset, and every day is God’s magic that He created because He’s good, not because I’m deserving. 

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